Album Predesigns: Manage Client Expectations

This is part 2 of album predesign. If you missed part 1, find that here: Predesigning Albums.

The most important thing to remember is to minimize frustration on the client's side. Bottom line is you have to manage their expectations and plant the seeds early on in the sales process so they understand they will have the opportunity to buy more products. Too many photographers offer packages and leave the clients believing that the package is “complete” as is, and wonder why they don't get many after sales.

We don't try to stuff an album with more pages just to sell them. We try to create gorgeous albums that reveal the story of their wedding, the poetry of their day. Each spread focuses on a moment, or a segment of the day. For example one spread might be the brides getting ready details (dress, shoes, bouquet). The next spread might be the bride having fun, getting make-up done, bridesmaids laughing, etc. Next spread would be the actual putting on of the dress. And so forth, all the way through to the end of the night. It's a beautiful way to tell the story, and makes the viewer pause and drink the feeling of that particular moment.

By getting all the design questions answered in advance, we are able to include the pre-design process as part of the normal wedding workflow. The first thing the client sees is the album slideshow. We call it “the director's cut” and explain that this is how we'd do their album if it were up to us.

From that point, we simply provide them with pricing and present the design as an option and it's up to them. We offer payments and many clients go for it because it's such a stellar presentation and that's how they want their album to look. Other clients let me know right away that they are way over budget and they need to stick to what's included in their package. At that point, we back off and let them make the call. If asked, we are more than happy to help them adjust the album to fewer pages-we simply remove 2 page spreads until we get it to where they are comfortable.

There will definitely be times when you feel like you wasted time on an album design that the client was never going to be able to afford; they just wanted to see what it looked like. On the other hand, sometimes your bride is so blown away by the album they are moved to make it happen. Consider the design time an investment. If you give up too soon, it's because you haven't learned how to present it in a way that works. So keep refining your presentation skills and learning more about what your clients like.

We've done the album presentation in the studio and online. Doing an in-studio presentation is going to have a much higher success rate if you have the space and the time to offer these sessions. However, an online presentation is still effective, and worth the time and effort. It's really a matter of refining the presentation process.

If you persevere, eventually you will be able to understand what works and what doesn't work for your clients. Once you have that figured out, use it to create a product your clients will love and add some serious profitability to your bottom line.

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